NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) resigned Monday night after a bombshell report detailing allegations against him from multiple women of physical abuse.

Just hours after The New Yorker published the claims from four women who said Schneiderman physically abused them, the attorney general offered his resignation in a statement.

"Serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me," he said. "While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct ... they will effectively prevent me from leading the office's work at this critical time."

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The New Yorker published its report shortly before 7 p.m. in which four women, including two who spoke on the record, accused Schneiderman of physical abuse. Schneiderman offered his resignation, effective at close of business on Tuesday, about three hours later.

Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam told the magazine that Schneiderman hit them without their permission, often after drinking and in the bedroom.

The two did not report the incidents to the police when they took place but sought medical help after the episodes. They both alleged that the incidents constituted assault.

Both of the women said Schneiderman threatened to kill them if they broke up with him, and Selvaratnam alleged that he said he could have her followed and her phones tapped.

Another woman alleged that Schneiderman slapped her across the face when she rebuffed his advances.

In an initial statement after the story was published, Schneiderman denied that he committed assault.

“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross," he said. 

His spokesperson told the magazine that he “never made any of these threats" to the women. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar MORE (D) promptly called on Schneiderman to resign in response to the report.

The state legislature will appoint a successor, who will serve out the remainder of Schneiderman's term. His full-time replacement will be determined in a November general election.

Schneiderman, a longtime state senator until he won election as New York's top law enforcement official in 2010, was seen as a rising star in Empire State Democratic politics. He was likely a future contender for the governor's mansion when Cuomo stepped away from office.

Schneiderman had also been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration. He had sued the federal government over everything from environmental regulations being rolled back to Trump's travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries.

He also secured a $25 million settlement from Trump in a lawsuit over the president's shuttered Trump University program.

Trump allies appeared to revel in the allegations against Schneiderman on Monday night.

Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump Jr. knocks CNN's Chris Cuomo over interview with father: 'I'm not pretending to be a journalist' Trump Jr. to interview president for reelection campaign's online show 'Triggered' Trump Jr. calls elderly supporter who was assaulted MORE and White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayLincoln Project hits Trump over Russian bounties Obama said Trump's use of term 'kung flu' 'shocks and pisses me off': report New Lincoln Project ad slams Trump over deaths of 'Greatest Generation' members from COVID-19 MORE both mocked Schneiderman by resurfacing his old tweets in which he condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE and praised The New Yorker and New York Times for revealing movie producer Harvey Weinstein's history of sexual misconduct.

Reid Wilson and Avery Anapol contributed.